The City of Grover Beach is gearing up to go green with a shift to clean and renewable energy starting in January 2021, thanks to the City’s membership in Central Coast Community Energy (3CE). Beginning the month of November, more than 7,800 Grover Beach residences and businesses will receive the first of several required mailers notifying them that 3CE will become each eligible customer’s primary electric generation service provider while PG&E continues with service for transmission, delivery and billing. It is expected that the 3Cchoice program will provide customers with 60% clean and renewable energy by 2025 and 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030 from new projects supporting close to $4 billion dollars in economic investment over the 10 years.
“Joining Central Coast Community Energy allows our community to receive the benefits of choice, local control, competitive rates and ways to further reduce local greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jeff Lee, Grover Beach Mayor and 3CE Policy Board Member representing Grover Beach, Arroyo Grande, and Pismo Beach. “We are excited to be able to offer Grover Beach residents and businesses an easy way that they can help address climate change while contributing to our city’s sustainability goals.”
Grover Beach residents and businesses will not experience any disruption to their regular energy services, nor will there be any additional or extra monthly service charges on their accounts once the official switch is made in 2021. Current service provider PG&E will continue delivering energy to the city; however, all those enrolled in the 3Cchoice program will instead be provided energy that is procured and generated from clean and renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal. The only difference that will appear on the bill itself is that 3CE will be listed next to the utility provider’s charges for electric generation.
Grover Beach residents and businesses enrolled in 3Cchoice will benefit from competitive rates and future rate predictability as 3CE transitions to its cost of service rate design in fall 2021. Customers who are enrolled in CARE, FERA or Medical Baseline programs will still receive the same discounts and customers do not need to reapply for these programs. Additionally, net energy metering (NEM) customers will be enrolled in one of the designated enrollment months (April 2021, July 2021, October 2021) which aligns best with their current true-up. 3CE is moving to monthly invoicing for all NEM customers starting in April 2021 which will allow for a better billing experience as well as increased Net Surplus Compensation rates. Residents will still also be able to access programs administered by PG&E through the public goods charge.
3Cchoice requires no action from Grover Beach residents to be enrolled. Should any Grover Beach resident wish to opt-out of receiving green energy, however, they may do so at no cost during the enrollment period, which extends 60 days past the January statement date. After the enrollment period, there is a small administrative fee to assist in returning the customer back to PG&E. Customers can opt-out at any time.
3CE is a Community Choice Energy (CCE) agency, which is an agency authorized by State law that allows cities, counties and other authorized entities to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions to purchase and/or generate electricity supply for residents and businesses within their jurisdiction while maintaining the existing investor-owned utility provider for billing, physical transmission and distribution services (e.g. PG&E). CCEs are typically formed to provide a higher percentage of renewable electricity such as wind, solar, or geothermal sources at competitive or potentially less expensive rates than existing investor-owned utilities. 3CE will be the largest CCE agency in California serving 430,000 customers in 33 local agencies within five counties (29 cities and 4 counties as member agencies) in the Central Coast region with its main office in Monterey and a satellite office in San Luis Obispo.
“Our expansion to serve 11 new communities in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties marks an important transition in the 3CE’s development as a community choice energy agency,” shared 3CE CEO Tom Habashi. “This expansion led to a name change, a larger board and most importantly a new direction and a real commitment to renewable energy.”
3CE will be hosting a variety of virtual opportunities to engage with Grover Beach residents and businesses. Registration for each webinar is available at the links below:
For more information on the City’s membership with 3CE, please see the Central Coast Community Energy Member Agency Update staff report, which was reviewed by the Grover Beach City Council on October 19, 2020.